Tuesday, September 18, 2018

First Listen: New Releases for 14 September

Artist: Low
Album: Double Negative
Quick Description: Latest anticipated album by the slowcore indie act.
Why You Should Listen: Low has been required listening for close to two decades.
Overall Thoughts: To say this is one of the more highly -anticipated releases of the fall would be an understatement. Low has a very clear aesthetic, and they have deviated from it twice – once in Drums and Guns, a great record with a lot of challenging bits, and now this. In a way, if Low were to produce their idea of Kid A, it might sound a bit like this. It’s abrasive and weird, it has an almost David Lynchian feel to the entire atmosphere. A few songs in, I was not on board. Toward the end, I was still unsure as to whether this was brilliant or absurd. The only thing we should be able to agree upon is that it is musical art in the very sense of it, and while it may not be the best of the week (or even necessarily good after we collectively give it a few more listens), it is something that will have people talking about it later.
Recommendation: Definitely a must listen, the question instead is how much it will work for you.

Artist: Orbital
Album: Monsters Exist
Quick Description: Latest from the British electronica royalty.
Why You Should Listen: Orbital continues to be the most important electronic act in the world.
Overall Thoughts: Their first album in some time, it’s very much an Orbital album. They have kept their sound current enough, but we are still talking about an act that has stubbornly held to its sound even while the electronic landscape has changed. I liked this a lot, but I might rank Orbital as my favorite electronic act so I’m biased. Either way, they haven’t lost it.
Recommendation: Give this a listen.

Artist: Jack Drag
Album: 2018
Quick Description: First album in 16 years from the lo-fi indie star.
Why You Should Listen: Jack Dragonnetti is a great songwriter.
Overall Thoughts: If I have one complaint of sorts with the trends in music as of late, it’s about the relative dearth of power pop we’ve been hearing. Thnakfully, we have bands like Jack Drag taking up the mantle and providing us with a solid listen. While this does veer off a little bit into some 60s/70s-rock diversions at times, the end result here is absolutely something worth hearing.
Recommendation: Add this to the rotation.

Artist: Dilly Dally
Album: Heaven
Quick Description: New album from the indie alt-rock act.
Why You Should Listen: Their debut was really, really solid.
Overall Thoughts: I really enjoyed Dilly Dally’s last album, and the new album is also solid while still providing some sound growth. Definitely more mature, certainly more interesting, and I look forward to hearing whether there are some pieces that jump out at me.
Recommendation: A good listen this week.

Artist: Emma Ruth Rundle
Album: On Dark Horses
Quick Description: New, buzzworthy album from the singer-songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: No one is quite like Emma Ruth Rundle.
Overall Thoughts: Rundle is sneaky good at what she does, with a sort of grit to her recordings that make her stand out. This might be my favorite release of hers yet, with some solid tunes on here to go along with her established presence.
Recommendation: Don’t miss out.

Artist: The Goon Sax
Album: We're Not Talking
Quick Description: New album from an act fast becoming a blog favorite.
Why You Should Listen: You miss the indie rock of my college years.
Overall Thoughts: We’ve been waiting on this one here, and 2002 Jeff thinks this would have been one of his favorites. In 2018, it feels very derivative of a lot of the experimental indie pop of 15 years ago, but there’s something to be said about what is old being new again.
Recommendation: Give it a listen.

Artist: Guerilla Toss
Album: Twisted Crystal
Quick Description: New album from the abrasive alt-rock act.
Why You Should Listen: It's really appealing if you give it an honest shot.
Overall Thoughts: GT Ultra was a solid record with some staying power, and this new effort doubles down in all the best ways. It’s brash and up front, it doesn’t try to be something it isn’t, and it ends up being a super great listen. GT may be an acquired taste, but if you’ve gotten there you’re enjoying the ride.
Recommendation: A great listen this week.

Of note:

* Lola Foy - Bigger Brighter (Dreamy, fragile folk music with a lot of great moments)
* Emma Louise - Lilac Everything (Weird concept album complete with downpitched vocals. Didn’t work for me)
* Daniel T. - Heliotrope
* Active Bird Community - Amends
* The Chills - Snow Bound
* Paul Weller - True Meanings

Seven Song Albums:

* Sarah Davachi - Gave in Rest
* Cold Beat - A Simple Reflection


* Aphex Twin - Collapse
* Troi Irons - Antihero
* Sleaford Mods - Sleaford Mods
* The Mutineers - Threshold
* First Aid Kit - Tender Offerings

Also out:

* Basement Beehive: The Girl Group Underground
* We Were Promised Jetpacks - The More I Sleep the Less I Dream

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